gone baby gone (2007)

by zEke

gone baby gone posterDefinitely Ben Affleck made a mistake when he went into acting. One just need to take a look at his acting career to realize that. It might actually be his brother Casey the one with the skills. Nevertheless, after gone baby gone, his brilliant directorial debut, I now will think twice before suggesting his role in the writing of the original screenplay of good will hunting (1997) was just to be Mat Damon’s best friend.

Patrick Kenzie (Casey Afleck) and his girlfriend and partner Angie Gennaro (Michelle Monaghan) survive as private investigators in Boston. Three days after four year old Amanda went missing after her drug addict mother Helen McCready (Amy Ryan) left her alone for half an hour, her aunt asks them for their help to take advantage of their familiarity with the neighborhood. Poor Bostonian neighborhood that has been invaded by widespread media due to the relevance of a disappearance whose investigation is being led by Captain Jack Doyle (Morgan Freeman). Patrick and Helen accept to help them find the young girl and join forces with Detectives Remy Bressant and Nick Poole (Richard Harris and John Ashton). Soon they find out Helen and her boyfriend had recently stolen $130,000 from a local drug lord. And that, that is just the beginning of a path that will led them towards a wanted truth they might not be ready for.

Affleck, the older one, has proved limited resources as an actor. As being noticeable I only remember his performance in hollywoodland (2006), but then again, my memory fails sometimes. On the other hand, in his first try behind the camera he shows a wide range of resources to tie up a solid piece of cinema. Arguably, his greatest achievement lies in the way he reads the screenplay he co-adapted from Dennis Lehane’s novel, who also wrote the novel mystic river (2003) was based on. Lehane likes to draw complex and hard to judge moral dilemmas and Affleck shows himself capable of transitioning them into the big screen without taking part in them. He subtly sketches each of the characters to a point that by the time the story comes to an end no one feels cheated. Furthermore, all the necessary ingredients to make you wonder are there. And that might be the purporse of all together. On top of that, the way Affleck beautifully captures Boston through his lens is full of meaningful contrasts.

Affleck also relies on his younger brother and the rest of an outstanding cast. Casey’s excellent year completes with ocean’s thirteen (2007) and the assessination of jesse james by the coward robert ford (2007), specially brilliant is his performance in the latter. Among the rest shines Ryan as the drug addict mother. Freeman and Harris play similar roles to those we are used to see them playing, and they do measure up.

A movie that will make you think about the decisions the characters make, that succeeds at showing how difficult is sometimes to judge other people’s actions. I enjoy experiences that let me be the one who decides what is good and what is not. Me being able to do it is another whole story.

For the deadhours of those who rather than either black or white like the whole range of grays in between.

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official site | imdb

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